At a press conference this morning, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced the launch of London & Partners, a new agency “to showcase London as the best city to visit, invest and study in”. With, of course, a new logo.
And no, this isn’t a joke. When we first heard about this from Michael Johnson (who has blogged about it here) our first thought was ‘oh yeah, look at the date’ but it seems to be real.
London & Partners (site here) “will pool the extensive knowledge and expertise from the previous agencies under one roof and deliver a single strategy for the promotion of London with one voice and mission”.
This project has been rumbling on since the back end of 2009 (see our story here). At one point it seemed to have been shelved but then the project was handed to Wally Olins’ Saffron which was due to unveil something last summer. We presume this is derived from their work but will confirm more details as we get them.
UPDATE: We have just spoken to Ian Stephens of Saffron. He has confirmed to us that the logo is based on work that Saffron did for the original London identity tender and handed over to the GLA last July. However, extraordinarily, the Saffron work did not include the graphic of the river which has since been added, and not by them. “It’s familiar,” Stephen says of the logo, but “it’s their logo, not ours.” Saffron delivered identity guidelines, tone of voice etc last July at which time the London and Partners body didn’t exist. “They have taken our own work and added a squiggle,” Stephens says. However, he has been told that the promotional campaigns that will feature the London and Partners identity will do so using the original design and not the new one, with added ‘squiggle’.
UPDATE #2: Here’s a short promotional film introducing the new logo. It most definitely has the squiggle in it:
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